11 summer vacation ideas for geeks

From Star Trek and space camp to baseball minutiae and They Might Be Giants, there?s a vacation option for any type of geek this summe

Vacation spots to fit the geeky lifestyle

The word "geek" might be considered an insult in some quarters, but we know geeks are just regular guys and gals – who might be a bit obsessed with electronics and various other intellectual pursuits. With that in mind, here are 11 summer vacation ideas designed for the geek within.

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Comic-Con 2009

A geek's life might be a barren wasteland without a hefty dose of comic books. Comic-Con offers four days in sunny San Diego complete with a masquerade, hours of gaming, art exhibitions, film screenings and hobnobbing with luminaries in the comic book field. Attendance reportedly tops 100,000 comic fans each year, making it a potential pick-up spot for geeky singles. Come channel your inner Comic Book Guy, the Simpsons' character who once asked a fair damsel: "How do you feel about 45-year-old virgins who still live with their parents?" More info.

Also check out
The Geek Atlas: Terrific tech shrines
And don't forget
Your tech T-shirt

Live action role play

Few happenings fit the geek lifestyle as well as live action role-playing games , a sort of real-life, costumed version of Dungeons & Dragons. A major LARP event known as "Blood Games" is set for Aug. 21-23 at Ye Olde Commons camping ground in Charlton, Mass., but live action role play events are common throughout the United States and happen all summer long. The main idea, as explained by the LARP Alliance, is to play a character in a story-driven game. Play as human, dwarf or elf in live combat featuring safe weaponry such as foam swords and Nerf guns, or theatrical games that use "rock, paper, scissors" and cards to determine combat outcomes.

List of LARP groups and events.

Also check out
The Geek Atlas: Terrific tech shrines
And don't forget
Your tech T-shirt

SABR Convention

Even geeks who couldn't make the junior varsity team may be drawn to the numerology of baseball, and the statistical revolution launched by the Society for American Baseball Research. Baseball is unique in that nearly every individual action can be recorded as a statistic, and so-called "sabermetricians" have crunched this data to create more accurate measurements of baseball prowess, such as "win shares" and "VORP," or value over replacement player. The 39th annual convention this summer will feature new research and a panel discussion involving former Negro League ballplayers. Serious baseball historians may also want to participate in an old-fashioned game of " vintage base ball," played with rules and uniforms borrowed from the mid-1800s.

Convention Web site.

Also check out
The Geek Atlas: Terrific tech shrines
And don't forget
Your tech T-shirt

Space Academy for Adults

You might think of little kids when you hear the phrase "space camp," but in fact the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Alabama offers three-day and six-day programs for adult space enthusiasts. After some SCUBA diving, move on to a shuttle mission and choose one of two tracks: pilot or mission specialist. "You will rotate through the orbiter, space station and mission control on training missions which lead up to an extended duration mission," the Center promises. "You will also receive training in our high performance jet simulators and our 3G centrifuge."

Program information.

Also check out
The Geek Atlas: Terrific tech shrines
And don't forget
Your tech T-shirt

Official Star Trek Convention

It's been more than 20 years since William "Captain Kirk" Shatner told a roomful of Trekkies to "get a life" on Saturday Night Live , but Star Trek conventions are still going strong. Leonard Nimoy and Shatner himself will be among more than 70 special guests at the official convention in the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel this summer. Most guest celebrities will take fans' questions while on stage, but the convention Web site has a warning: Asking for hugs, telling stars you love them, giving gifts and telling long personal stories while other Trekkies patiently wait to ask a question is "quite self-centered" and unacceptable in this universe.

More information.

Also check out
The Geek Atlas: Terrific tech shrines
And don't forget
Your tech T-shirt

Lord of the Rings movie tours

If the diminutive Frodo Baggins can carry the One Ring all the way from Bag End to the fires of Mount Doom in Mordor, surely a dedicated Lord of the Rings geek can travel to New Zealand to see the breathtaking landscapes where director Peter Jackson filmed the blockbuster trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien's novel. Numerous LOTR-themed tours are available for fans looking to experience the wonders of Hobbiton, Helms Deep and the Misty Mountains.

Lord of the Rings tour information. Hobbiton movie set.

Also check out
The Geek Atlas: Terrific tech shrines
And don't forget
Your tech T-shirt

Pirate Festivals

Lily-livered landlubbers, beware! Pirate festivals be occurring in a briny port near ye. "Transform ye ship or boat into a pirate vessel" during the Pirate Fest 2009 in Evangola State Park in Irving, N.Y., on July 25 and 26. Or if ye be hankerin' for some great, grand sword fights and the "Best Wenches Ball," you best be navigatin' with yer booty down to the Pirates and Wenches Fantasy Weekend in thar Rock Hall, Md., on Aug. 8 and 9. Act fast, these pirates be shippin' out soon.

List of pirate festivals.

Also check out
The Geek Atlas: Terrific tech shrines
And don't forget
Your tech T-shirt

Renaissance Fairs

A Renaissance Faire is the geek's chance to recreate Elizabethan era England, complete with jousting knights, swordplay, stocks and pillories, costumed parades, and music played with historical instruments. Renaissance Faires are hugely popular and easy to find, occurring regularly in most parts of the country. The Faires are often one-weekend events but larger ones run for extended periods, such as the Maryland Renaissance Festival from late August until the end of October.

Renaissance Faires by state.

Also check out
The Geek Atlas: Terrific tech shrines
And don't forget
Your tech T-shirt

Usenix Security Symposium

Some of the most cutting-edge computer and network security research is presented at Usenix conferences throughout North America, and the show this August provides a perfect opportunity to combine vacation with the geeky pursuit of computer knowledge. Montreal is sunny and beautiful in the summer, and offers plenty of cultural activities and a thriving nightlife.

More info.

Also check out
The Geek Atlas: Terrific tech shrines
And don't forget
Your tech T-shirt

They Might Be Giants concert

The musical duo They Might Be Giants has been perfecting geek rock for more than 20 years. The band is composed of two long-time friends named "John," who can often be seen wearing dorky glasses, playing the accordion, and singing songs about birdhouses, puppet heads, dinner bells, palindromes, purple toupees and a place called "cowtown." Ever the showmen, TMBG are touring again this summer and fall, with stops in various Northeast and Midwest locales.

Tour dates.

Also check out
The Geek Atlas: Terrific tech shrines
And don't forget
Your tech T-shirt

Vintage Computer Festival East 6.0

"Pre-modern" computers will be exhibited at the sixth annual Vintage Computer Festival at New Jersey's InfoAge Science Center. All exhibitors are required to have live demos, making it quite a hands-on experience. "Imagine a car show where you get to drive every car!" organizers promise. If you're up for a big road trip after the festival, you can bask in the history of video games at the National Center for the History of Electronic Games in Rochester, N.Y., – about six hours away by car. An option for West coasters is the Computer History Museum , open year-round in Mountain View, Calif.

More information.

Also check out
The Geek Atlas: Terrific tech shrines
And don't forget
Your tech T-shirt